* Posts by Shadow Systems

352 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

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FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips

Shadow Systems
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A question for those that know more...

Why can't FTDI write a program to test a given device's supposedly FTDI branded chips to make sure they're real?

All it needs do is return a "Yes, it's one of ours" or a "Nope, we didn't make it" reply, then the customer with the evidently faked chip including device can immediately return the device for a refund citing that fact.

Couple that program with the drivers doing the same thing & simply refusing to work with the fakes (not bricking them, not injecting false data, just flat-out refusing to work, Period.), the customer would then return the product to the place of purchase & demand a refund. YES, purchasing online would make that a bit more difficult, but a quick call to your CC issuer to contest the purchased device as having been fraudulently advertised (it's not a real FTDI chip after all) should get the charges reversed in the seller's face like a brick wall to the nose.

Wouldn't writing a simple validation program that the customer can run, and having the driver refuse to work *at all* with the fakes, be an infinitely saner & ethical solution?

Or am I missing something obvious?

I don't mind if you disagree & down vote this, but at least have the decency to leave a reply as to WHY. If I have inaccurate information at my disposal that you can correct, yet you refuse to DO so, then is it my fault I'm using info I believe to be accurate (like I'm running a real FTDI chipped device) or YOU for not helping to show me how it's false?

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It's 2016 and a font file can own your computer

Shadow Systems
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@Stuart Longland, re: Fonts.

Even before I went blind & could still see for fonts to matter, I disabled the ability to download fonts from websites as a massive security risk. You have no control over what that supposed "font" package might contain, the system doesn't properly scan it for nasty bits, & if it causes your system to get holed there's not much you can do to fix it. (It CAN be fixed, but it's closing the barn door after the horse has bolted; it's easier to close that door in the first place & never let the font in to begin with.)

As I mentioned in my original post, the fact that you set your browser to ignore the fonts & font sizes on sites to use the system defaults instead means you're never left at the mercy of some dingleberry of a WebDev whom thinks it funny to try to force you to use some bastardized version of WingDings in 6point type, or suddenly shove a 99999point explosion down your optic nerves. You don't have to zoom in/out to see it, you don't have to curse their existence for their choice of fonts, and you're not open to the security nightmare that is the downloading of unvetted code to be run in RING0.

I'm sure that there are valid reasons for wanting a specific font/size/style on a site, but I can't imagine any that trump my security policy of refusing to let that Trojan Horse in through the gates.

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Shadow Systems
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Disable font downloading.

Find the browser option to control downloading fonts, disable it, and then set it to use the default system fonts to render everything instead.

If your browser has Accessibility options, set them to ignore the fonts on the sites & just render in the system default.

The end result is that you get the same clarity of text across your surfing & don't have to constantly zoom in/out to try & find all the stupidly (mal)formed bits.

YES it will sometimes break a site's WebDev's pretty layout, but if they're forcing you to view it with a specific font, they've obviously never gotten past the days of "Best if viewed at $Resolution on $Browser" levels of incompetency & deserve to be mocked out of a job.

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Fleet of 4.77MHz LCD laptops with 8088 CPUs still alive after 30 years

Shadow Systems
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Coat

Just wait...

...until Redmond insists they're able to be upgraded to Windows 10...

I'll get my coat, it's the one with the gigabytes worth of double sided floppies in the pockets.

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SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

Shadow Systems
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Coffee/keyboard

@allthecoolshortnamesweretaken, re: spankings.

Damn it, you owe me a new keyboard! I heard your post & then heard my mind offering up the spanking scene from the Castle Anthrax Nuns. You bastard! =-D Hahahahaha

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Who wants a quad-core 4.2GHz, 64GB, 5TB SSD RAID 10 … laptop?

Shadow Systems
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Go

@Ketlan, re: reaction...

Just for shits & giggles I went through the configurator & selected the most expensive option possible. While the resulting specs are <DarthVader>Impressive... Most. Impressive</DarthVader>, the sticker shock was enough to make me cackle in "Is THAT all? Why, at that price I'll take TWO!" style maniacal laughter. =-J

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Shadow Systems
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GIMMIE! =-D

I will gladly volunteer to write a full, in depth, excrutiatingly exhaustive review of one of these, and I even promise to give the unit back after I'm done...

<whispers>eventually</whispers>

*Cough*

Damn I'd love to own one. I'd use it to play Progress Quest! =-D

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Shadow Systems
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Holmes

Dear Advertisers...

I'll stop blocking you when you stop being privacy raping security nightmares.

Until then, go fuck yourselves.

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Masked men 'steal' £250k of smartphones from Exertis

Shadow Systems
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Joke: Sometimes it sucks to use a Screen Reader...

It read "£250k" as "Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pounds" & my first thought was "Holy shit! Those guys give new meaning to ''strong arm'' robbery!"

Then I forced it to character step through the title & realized it was talking value not weight.

Screen Readers suck: they turn what's supposed to be funny into stuff that's not & vice versa. =-j

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Slashdot, SourceForge slurped by travel publisher

Shadow Systems
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Re: Sourceforge is the best, bar none

I decided to give it one last chance, downloaded a copy of FileZilla (Windows FTP client), and ran the AntiVirus scanner across it once it finished getting to me. It registered as having no fewer than *four* different virii inside & my AntiVirus promptly quarrentined it.

Ok, maybe it was just the copy stored on that particular server, so let's try another mirror. After spending far too long downloading copy after mirrored copy, only to have each one get quarrentined due to virii, I gave it up as a lost cause.

Go directly to the FileZilla site, direct download, and no virii. I don't know if the infections via SF were intentional, accidental, or random stupidity, but I'm sure as hell not going back there any time soon.

I wish I could say I'm surprised at how far SF has fallen but after what they've done/been doing/are doing/are likely to do in the future, I merely shake my head in disgust & walk away.

They used to be a great resource for software, now they're just a virii spaffing, trojan spewing, scumware shitting hazardous waste dump of the toxic sludge that shouldn't be allowed anywhere near your computer.

Maybe I'll consider removing their brand new entry from my HOSTS file sometime & giving them another try, but don't hold your breath.

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Shadow Systems
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It's popcorn time again.

Slashdot's commenters are what made it into the powerhouse that got it snapped up by Dice, then Dice shat all over it under the guise of making it better. The vitriol those commenters foisted upon it makes what ElReg experienced over it's ill-begotten design cockup look like a butterfly's fart in a planetary-killing explosion.

Now it's happened again with Dice selling it off to another company? Cue the flame wars, #fuckbeta hashtag protests, headline downvoting/meta moderating into oblivion, "stories" being posted repeatedly under different headlines in a piss poor attempt to make it appear that the news aggregator actually had anyone reporting anything, disguising obvious advertising as stories in the vain hopes the commenters wouldn't notice the dip shit maneuver, ad nauseum.

So break out the popcorn, drinks, & comfy chairs, it's Slashdot Wars all over again!

*Sigh*

You'd think a company that lives or dies by the submissions of it's audience NOT to fuck over said audience, but obviously that's too much to hope for.

*Ahem*

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Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

Shadow Systems
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Re: Bah! Newfangled WhipperSnappers!

Nah, I planned ahead & ordered the Y3K upgrade from the manufacturer.

*Reads the contract to point out the relevant bits*

Wait... what the hell? Why is this bit in even smaller print than the rest?

*Scrubs away the grime & squints at the tiny print*

MotherFUCK! Those bastards wrote the year "3000^" with the ^ resolving to the addendum "written in Hexidecimal"! Damn it! Damn Damn Damn!

*Wanders off to go try & calculate the realignment positions*

Grrrrr...

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Shadow Systems
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@GrumpyKiwi, re: Your Wang that won't die...

You can't lift your own Wang claiming it'll give you a hernia?

And it's been up for HOW many years?

You Sir, have an ego the size of a planet...

*Rofflmao*

I don't know to be impressed as hell or run screaming in fear!

=-D

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Shadow Systems
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Bah! Newfangled WhipperSnappers!

You want longevity? You want build quality? You want uptime measured in Millenia? I've got your computational device right here! That's right, I'm talkin' about Stonehenge, Baby! Beat That! HA!

Just don't ask me to reboot that BadBoy, it takes forever to realign those suckers.

*Shakes a palsied fist*

Now get off my loam!

=-D

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

Shadow Systems
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@Archie Woodnuts, re: dial up lines.

I like to tell the "Windows Support" scammers that it's the reason why I can't possibly visit the site they want me to connect to, since being on dial up would require me to hang up between steps.

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

Shadow Systems
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I use a hammer.

Device refuses to work properly? Pick up the hammer, show hammer to the device, ask "Do you feel like working properly or do I get to reprogram you with a hammer?", put down the hammer as the device suddenly remembers that it would definitely appreciate NOT being reprogrammed with said hammer.

Device ignores the threat & continues to refuse to function? Feel free to cackle as you reduce it to it's component atoms in a flurry of frustration fueled fury, only stopping once those nice young men in their clean white coats come to take you away (Ha! Ha!).

Eventually the devices get wise to the fact that you & your hammer mean business, so they work for everything short of physical incapability to do so, EG: it's on fire, someone pulled the plug, or you've failed to remove the manager's tie from the shredder before feeding in a fresh manager.

*Cackles madly & brandishes hammer*

Here printer, printer, printer... HeeeEEERE printer! MUH Hahahahahahahaha...

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In this Facebook and Google-owned world, it's time to rethink privacy

Shadow Systems
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Re: I've already dealt with FB.

Do I keep my contacts stored on Gmail? No. I use a third party email client to download all my mail then delete Gmail's copy. All my contacts are stored on my local computer, not synchronized via any online service, and stay securely under my own control. I also regularly log in to the site itself to scrub the spam folder, empty all the other folders into the trash, then empty the trash as well. It's a bit of a PITA but it helps to keep my total storeage on the account at *Zero Bytes*. Sure they can keep copies even though I've deleted them, but at least none of my mail stays available to the Gmail team without jumping through another hoop or two.

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Shadow Systems
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I've already dealt with FB.

It's called a HOSTS file. They don't get to set a cookie, they don't get to track me, & the only thing they can get about me has to come tangentially from friends postings. I've already asked my friends not to post photos of me, and any posts they might make that includes me should be kept to a minimum. I don't mind if THEY use the site, but I'd rather not have my data spaffed into their maw if at all possible. At first they complained but it didn't take very many privacy invading stories dropped in their laps about how FB fucks over it's victims/members/the public at large to get the point across. So FB doesn't get to know me, they don't get to track me, and they can just go fuck themselves with a Jovian moon for all I care. Do I advise my family & friends that FB is a bad idea? Yes. Does it seem to matter? No. Do I harp on them to give it up? Not to the extreme, but just enough to remind them "Here's the latest reason why FB considers you as grist in the mill."

As for Google I know they scan my email but that's the only place I allow their cookie to be updated; if it gets called on *any* other site then it gets blocked. They don't get to track me across other sites, they don't get to compile a list of my favorite haunts & hang outs, they don't get to listen in on my chats. The *only* Google branded service I use is Gmail & Search, and only the Gmail gets to update the cookie. (File set to Read Only FTW!) Yes Google scrapes my email in an attempt to learn all about me, but that's why I don't do anything important/personal via that avenue. PII via email? Not via Gmail it won't go. And if it weren't for Gmail, I'd just add Google to the HOSTS file as well. There's too many other search engines out there to use instead, and I won't share my PII with them either.

So FB & Google can try to track me all they like, good luck when I block your cookies, refuse your tracking bugs, & laugh at your feeble minded attempts to set pseudo-cookies to get around DNT requests. No Means No. I don't want you slurping up my data without my permission, so bite my shiny metal ass.

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Commuters slam UK rail operator c2c. You slow, late, er... privacy violator

Shadow Systems
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C2C has a one track mind...

Maybe someone should train them to do a better job, otherwise they'll just keep chugging along chanting "I think I can!" as they do a loco job of motivating their operators...

But what do I know, I'm just blowing off steam.

*Runs away*

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It's not just you: Massive Comcast outage blows Bay Area offline

Shadow Systems
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Sorry, I would've commented earlier...

But I'm a Comcast customer near ground zero.

*Sigh*

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Shadow Systems
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Bah! MegaHertz are for chumps!

A one hertz CPU, one kilobyte of RAM, & a 5.25" low density floppy drive is enough to run this fresh copy of Windows 10 that Microsoft insists I download over my 300baud accoustic coupler style, joystick port connected modem, right?

</SarcasticTwit>

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Adblock Plus blocked from attending ad industry talkfest

Shadow Systems
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Re: Not just advertising

^^^This. Damn it, this is so bloody apt.

I tried to go to a site to find out how to fix some issue I was having, only to have the site refuse to finish loading. My ScreenReaderEnvironment just kept making the clicking noise that signals the page is being refreshed & reloaded, even long after I hit escape to stop it from doing so.

I had to kill the entire browser to get rid of the tab with the site on it, refuse to let it reload the site once I relaunched the browser, and tried to view the site from a Google cache.

The plain text copy was essentially useless & it took saving the target to a file so I could open it in an editor to find out why.

The WebDev coders had filled it with so much scripting & cruft that my SRE couldn't process the entire page before the script forced a metarefresh, thus causing the SRE to start reading again from the beginning in an endless loop.

Disabling scripting, reloading the page, and *POOF* there's suddenly content... only to find out it had nothing to do with what I had gone there for in the first place.

And all the code causing it to shit itself? Trying to load third party ads, beacons, trackers, web bugs, et al. There was so much advertising crap crippling the site that it *couldn't* load properly.

And we're supposed to let these idiots cram such untested code down our throats? How about No. In fact, how about I just leave scripting disabled by default, make sure my HOSTS file is current, that my browser refuses to load cross-domain content, blocks pop up/under, and refuses to play audio/video except that hosted on sites like youtube. Oh look, now my SRE stops having a cow, pages load quickly, and I can actually find the content I went there to find to begin with! *Gasp!*

They started this war, I'm merely making sure I don't become a casualty.

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Shadow Systems
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@Anonymous Custard, re allowing them in.

*Enthusiastic, roof raising applause*

Hear! Hear! Brilliant! I can't upvote you enough for that!

Surround the building in classic besieging tactic, don't let anyone in without harrassing the hell out of them with shouted slogans, upraised signs, and any other form of PsyOps warfare that will get the message across that Ads Suck & banning an ad blocker from the forum only proves none of the participants are even remotely interested in making the situation any better.

Would we get Bonus Points for *projecting* through powered bullhorns about ads, hacking the internal video feeds to display "Ads Suck!" on every screen, infiltrating the audio system to play Lilly Allen's "Fuck You" in an endless loop, all while beaming BT/WiFi messages to every device capable of receiving it that "Ads suck, waste your bandwidth, & cost you money in data fees from your carrier. But you don't care so you shouldn't mind this ad for crowbars with which from your ass you can extract your head! Crowbars - Buy one now!"

*Cough*

Damn I hate advertisers. Good thing I've got a HOSTS file, anti malware, & have my browser's security screwed down tighter than a nun's knickers.

=-Jp

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Put your private parts on display if you want to keep earning a living

Shadow Systems
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@Peter2, re Heater under the desk.

What happens if they put a heater under the desk?

Roasted nuts!

*Runs away*

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Shadow Systems
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Re: BrownEye Stretch Goals

If they try to implement such a system I'll cackle maniacally & taunt them as they scream about "What Has Been Seen Can Not Be Unseen".

When you stare into the Void, the Void stares back.

MUH Hahahahahahahahaha.

*Cough*

=-D

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Russian Pastafarian wins right to bear colander

Shadow Systems
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Re: Fighting talk!

Exactly. Change it to claim that about any other "mainstream" religion & you'll suddenly be up to your eyebrows in Civil Rights Lawyers baying to eviscerate your ass.

My own personal thoughts on their beliefs aside, I'm sure a Scientologist would just LOVE to challenge such a claim in court. "Put my hand on a bible? That's an icon of a cult not a religion. Try again."

Unless you have a tried & true, legally tested & repeatedly withstanding the rule of law, definition of what constitutes a Religion versus a mere Cult, you don't get to decide if someone's religious beliefs are "valid". They're just as valid as those beliefs of any other spiritual individual, be they Christian, devotees of Allah, practice Voodoo, or bend their knee to The Great Cthulhu. Go ahead, I dare you to tell Cthulhu that He doesn't exist to His face. He'll happily devour your eternal soul as a snack.

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No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Shadow Systems
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Re: I am not a fucking product.

Enjoy a pint on me since I can't upvote you a few trillion times in agreement.

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Wanted man sends selfie to replace 'terrible' police mug shot

Shadow Systems
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It would have been funny if...

All the metadata embedded in the self portrait he'd submitted, plus the scene in the background, proved he'd snapped the new photo in front of the police station that had issued the original Be On The Look Out for him in the first place.

If you're going to thumb your nose at them & taunt them like Frenchmen atop the castle walls, do it on their own front steps as further proof you don't think they can catch you.

Then when the Judge asks WTF you were thinking when you did it, your reply of "Temporary Insanity" holds that much more credibility.

*Cough*

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Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

Shadow Systems
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Re: Demos

Getting a refund on opened software? Not anywhere I've been in the last decade around here.

Go to any store that sells computer software & they invariably include the clause that opened software can only be exchanged for the same title if the purchased copy was physicly damaged when you opened it, otherwise they don't give refunds nor even store credit.

BestBuy, NewEgg, Target, Walmart, etc have all refused to accept opened software since long before I went blind ~6 years ago, and I doubt they've changed their policies since.

They claim it's to protect against folks buying it, taking it home, opening & copying it, then bringing it back as "defective", only to go home & play their "free copy". The companies have a point & it's a massive PITA should you get your supposedly "new & unopened" title home only to find out the hard way that the jerk whom bought it before you has already used the reg code / DLC codes / etc, and the store simply re-shrink-wrapped it without any clue.

So not sure where you live that allows the return & refund on opened software, but that's not been true in America for a very long time.

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We're all really excited about new smartphones, laptops, tablets – said no one ever

Shadow Systems
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Re: I wonder what overlap...

One word: TeleDildonics.

*Wanders away whistling innocently*

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Got a Nexus? Google has five critical Android security fixes for you

Shadow Systems
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@Nunyabiznes, re Patches.

Spot on.

Even if the manufacturer is on the ball & creates updates to their devices, the carrier (I'm looking at you Verizon) may never push it out OTA to our handsets. If the carrier can't be bothered to provide security updates in a timely manner, then either we void the warranty by rooting it & upgrading manually, or we buy a brand new device with the latest OS that's available at the time.

I've decided that I will no longer be a Verizon Victim & will be switching just as soon as I'm no longer in peril of being raped to death by early termination fees. Hell, even *APPLE* updates more often than Verizon!

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US Marines kill noisy BigDog robo-mule for blowing their cover

Shadow Systems
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@Voyna, re civilian uses.

I agree with you & others elsewhere in this thread that a civilian model might prove to be a very worthwhile thing.

For example just consider someone in a wheelchair. They may be able to get themselves around by their own power but load carrying is pretty much a no-go. Give them a RoboMule to carry their stuff for them & they can surely be able to do more for themselves. Then there's the RoboMule's ability to act like a sled dog & pull the chair's owner if they get stuck in the mud/snow, or if they grow too tired to move the chair, or if they get injured & need to be pulled somewhere to safety, etc.

Another example could be as a sort of "Service Animal" for the Disabled. Consider a blind person using a RoboMule to carry their groceries, lead them through everyday obstacle coarses of normal pedestrian traffic, keeping them from getting struck by traffic, and generally assisting them in going about their day.

Or perhaps as a general robotic pack mule for anyone whom might want/need one. Stick a keychain "Follow me" fob in your pocket, stick all those packages you've spent the last four hours in the mall purchasing, and trigger the fob. You get to walk to your car or the bus, the RoboMule follows along behind you as it follows the tracking fob (make sure it's paired to your fob & not just a generic set of frequencies lest it suddenly wander off following the wrong fob!), and you don't have to carry the load since your RoboMule is doing it instead.

As long as the RoboMule is as least as clean (exhaust? fumes? leaking fluids?) as a standard Service Animal then there should be no problem allowing one on the bus, in a restaurant to crouch beneath your table on the floor like a dog (or hell, just use IT as a chair!), or anywhere else you can bring a Service Dog.

Sure it's not cheap in it's current form, but given enough R&D into getting it to a more economical manufacturing efficiency, the price should come down & become more affordable. We just have to get the run time up to a reasonable level & the autonomy to the point where it can follow a tracker fob while still avoiding obstacles, manage to get itself from A to B by itself using various audio-visual-electronic cues/clues from the environment so it can do it reliably.

I'd like to have a RoboMule. I'd stick it in a "Cousin It" suit & call it Baldy. Just to futz with people's minds.

*Cackle*

*Cough*

*Grins*

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North Korean operating system is a surveillance state's tour de force

Shadow Systems
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A serious question...

What's to stop an industrious, ingenious, talented, & bored hacker group to neuter the official OS into something that LOOKS like the official one but doesn't ACT like it?

What's to stop someone from neutering the OS (so it doesn't know it's been altered; so it doesn't append the data trail to files; so it doesn't scan/delete files, etc) and go around with the altered OS on LiveUSB to every internet cafe, library with a computer, or any personal/public machine they can find, reboot to the Live media, install the new OS, and let it overwrite the old one?

Imagine all the "fun" the North Korean government would have in trying to play an infinite game of Whack-A-Mole with all the script kiddy "hackers" that wandered around town with LiveUSB copies of the new OS, installing it everywhere they went, leaving copies for others to find & utilize, and generally wrecking havoc for the Powers That Be.

I know the NK government has tried to lock it down to be impregnable/unchangeable by mere mortals, but anything one person can code, another person can tweak with enough time, motivation, & resources.

So what's to keep anti-government hackers from tweaking the official OS into something that merely looks official, replacing all the official copies they encounter, and spreading the ability for the proverbial Joe Public to do the same?

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India may have binned Facebook's freebies on net neutrality grounds

Shadow Systems
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Hear Hear!

Ban FaceBook, Twitter, and every other "Social Media" site out there, ESPECIALLY the ones that can't even spell the word(s) that make up their own service without dropping a lettr (*cough*) to do it in some cool & hip new marketing ploy.

Save yourself bandwidth that can be better used on much more important, productive, & gratifying endeavors... like streaming 4K cat porn videos from Youtube.

/runs away ducking & dodging the screams, slings, & arrows of cat porn lovers everywhere...

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Western Digital pushing archive data ideas

Shadow Systems
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Re: "Additional racks can be deployed alongside existing ones to scale out the system"

Next they'll patent being able to arrange all your storage devices into a redundant array of independant disks, or perhaps just a big old disk, to maximize either safety or storage space respectively.

*Cough*

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DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

Shadow Systems
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A dozen Easter Eggs.

Given at Christmas.

*Sigh*

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EE recalls all 'Power Bar' USB batteries due to 'fire safety risk'

Shadow Systems
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To my down voters.

As mentioned above, neither the article nor EE's link made it clear that the PowerBar was effectively free. Not being on that side of The Pond & unaware of how the device was marketed, I naturally assumed it to have been a purchased rather than given away arrangement.

Thank you for the down votes, it just goes to show how an unclear article can lead to incorrectly reached assumptions ("Never assume. It just makes an ass out of you and me.") and kneejerk down votes.

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It's nearly 2016, and Windows DNS servers can be pwned remotely

Shadow Systems
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KB3112148

Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems.

KB3112148

Download size: 680 KB

You may need to restart your computer for this update to take effect.

Update type: Recommended

Install this update to resolve issues in Windows. For a complete listing of the issues that are included in this update, see the associated Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information. After you install this item, you may have

to restart your computer.

More information:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3112148

Help and Support:

http://support.microsoft.com

This one hit my system but when I clicked the link for more information got the MS version of "Huh? Whachu talkinbout Willis?" result.

I tried to search the MSKB site using their own search widget for the KBA & found nothing.

I did a Google search for the KBA & got a whopping three results, none of which applied.

I unchecked the box so it wouldn't apply, and will continue to search for what it does & why I should apply it.

If anyone else finds it before I reply to my own post with the info, please be kind & reply with what you've found.

Dear Microsoft, it's generaly A Bad Thing when *you* can't even find your own damned KBA using *YOUR* vaunted search engine on your own site.

If you think this inspires confidence in your customers, I strongly urge you to go bugger a Power Transformer. Thanks.

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Manchester 'wins' £10m to test talking bus stops

Shadow Systems
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It has potential.

As someone whom is totally blind, I wouldn't mind if the bus stop had

a "crosswalk post with push button" gadget that told us which stop we were at (main street & nearest cross street), which bus(es) stopped there, the time when the next bus was scheduled to arrive, & if there were any conditions that meant I needed to find another stop elsewhere (traffic jam blocking access, bus broke down, etc).

Being able to walk up, find the post, push the button, & find out that info would make it much easier to navigate the city without being forced to keep asking random strangers for assistance.

Yes an application on a SmartPhone that matched the bus/train public transit network to your SmartPhone's GPS to tell you that data would ALSO be nice, but that relies on having a SmartPhone, having a signal that can connect you to the internet, your GPS functioning properly, having the application installed, the application functioning properly, etc etc etc.

Having a post at each stop (make it part of the pole that the bus sign is mounted to) would mean that *anyone* whom found the stop could find out that data without being forced to have all those other elements working flawlessly as well.

YES there are Door-To-Door ParaTransit services available in many locations, but they're generally not cheap AND they require you to either reserve them well in advance or pay a "last minute" fee (which makes it even more extortionate). Such services are nice when you can afford them, but they've given up flexability in favor of timelyness; you can get from A to B in as little time as possible, but if you suddenly realize you need to swing by C as well then you're screwed. The drivers are on a timer with a route to stick to like glue. They can't just skip off to $OtherLocation because you asked them to. If you're on a public bus & on your way to B when you realize you need to get to C, you can ask the driver which bus(es) you need to catch to get there, have them drop you off at the next stop, & the nice ones will even radio to Dispatch to have the bus you need wait for you to catch it. Sure it takes longer, but you can change destinations as easily as changing bus routes & showing your Daily/Monthly Pass.

A talking bus stop would be a nice thing for the blind, it could even be useful to anyone whom has cognative disabilities, is autistic, or otherwise might have trouble working out where they are, which bus(es) go by there, when they go by, & that sort of thing.

Sure it's not cheap, it costs money to install such systems, maintain them, update them, & keep them as accurate as possible, but the ROI makes them valuable to any/everyone for whom "personal mobility" is limited to either Public Transportation, Cabs/Taxi/Lyft/Uber, or bumming rides off friends/relatives every time we need to go somewhere.

I'd rather know that I could walk down the block to the corner, find the bus stop, push the button, & hear when the next bus #x was due past, confident that I could catch it & go where I needed, than to have to call up a friend at the drop of a hat & have to beg them to drive me to run an errand I could otherwise do for myself if I only knew when/where to catch the bus.

*Smiles, shrugs*

It's all a pipe dream though. I live in America.

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Windows 10 market share growth rate flattens again

Shadow Systems
Silver badge

@Doctor_Wibble, re the dental implant.

The dentist & your proctologist are in it together, just working from different ends.

It's time to worry if they decide to shake hands in the middle.

*Wince*

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If a picture tells a 1000 words about latency, Google won't load it

Shadow Systems
Silver badge

Or do it yourself.

Browser options, accessibility, & untick the auto-load images box.

It still shows the placeholders where the image is supposed to be & activating the placeholder causes the image to load, but otherwise your browsing speeds up considerably when you're not forced to grab every damned web bug single pixel image, web beacon, or half gigabyte selfy bullshit barfed into your bandwidth.

9 times out of 10 the dipshit that posted it didn't bother to include proper Alt Text (glares at you ElReg) so it means absolutely *bollocks* to anyone whom can't see the image for whatever reason.

So just turn the images off in the options & get the same result as Google's self congratulatory wank fest.

It's amazing how much faster pages load when you don't have to pull down a couple of megs worth of pics just to display ~5Kb worth of content.

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Hello Barbie controversy re-ignited with insecurity claims

Shadow Systems
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Re: The whole problem is the cloud mentality

*Applause*

Enjoy a Pint & an UpVote on me.

I wonder if there's a market for "Faraday Clothes" for such toys?

Dress up little Suzie's BlabberMouthBarbie in material-encased Faraday Cage mesh to block all the WiFi, a little hat on her head to keep the signals from probing her little brain, gloves & socks, and render the little pile o' plastic essentially harmless.

Zillions of different designs, colours, patterns, & materials, just like real life full sized people, but sized for the dolls that include such "enhancements".

Then again, I'd just not buy such crap for a child in the first place.

Suzie can have just as much fun with the control codes to the WHOPR & playing games of Global ThermoNuclear War.

*Cough*

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Telegram Messenger delivers candygrams to stalkers

Shadow Systems
Silver badge

A simple solution...

<Crotchety Old Fossil quavering voice>Stop using all these newfangled protocols an apps an bunk.

If the extension of a pseudopod to link biochemical electrical pulses between aeomeba was good enough for me, it's good enough for you young WhipperSnappers!

*Shakes a palsied tentacle*

Now get off my laaaaawn!

</Senile Old Git>

*Cough*

I'll get my coat, it's the one with the Primordial Soup Crackers in the pocket.

=-D

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Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Shadow Systems
Silver badge

@RobHib, re your reply to MST.

*Standing ovation & roof raising boisterous roar of approval*

To hell with a mere pint, I'd buy you an entire KEG for your post.

Damn well said Sir, damn well said.

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Irish electricity company threatens to cut off graveyard

Shadow Systems
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Re: I recommend

Ohm My Gawd! That comment was revolting! You should be amply punished for such a charge!

=-)p

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Android's accessibility service grants god-mode p0wn power

Shadow Systems
Silver badge

Just. Frelling. Great.

The one thing I *have* to make sure is activated & functioning flawlessly is the very same attack vector they'll use to fuck me over?

*FacePalmGroan*

Fuck it. As badly as it sucks, I guess I'll have to stick with a Basic (not "Smart") Phone, just so I can have some chance in hell of remaining secure.

Apple is too expensive, Android is waiting to violate me for needing it to be Accessible, BlackBerry *might* be an option *IF* Verizon decides to release the Priv, Windows phones are pointless, and none of the other OS' out there give any mention whatsoever wrt Accessibility.

*HeadDeskHeadDeskHeadDesk*

Damn it, this blows goats.

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Hey Cortana, how about you hide my app from the user?

Shadow Systems
Silver badge

@Mark 85, re Curtana & self driving cars.

Me: Curtana! Drive this fucker like ya stole it!

Curtana: It's about damned time! Sit down, strap in, hold on, & let's GO!

...later...

Me: I'm sorry Officer for the multi-state high speed chase, going up on sidewalks, mowing down pimps & whores, sideswiping all those mailboxes & lamp posts, and chasing that bus of Nuns & Orphans until it crashed into the drive through window at McDonald's, but it wasn't my fault.

Officer in utter disbelief: How so?

Me: Curtana did it! She was playing GTA and got confused. I think she's finally snapped & is in dire need of an upgrade or something.

Curtana, in obvious disgust: You TOLD me to drive that way, you fucking meat bag!

Me, pointing to the crumpled & bullet riddled dashboard: See? See? She's insane!

Officer, pinching the bridge of the nose between thumb & forefinger, eyes squeazed closed, muttering darkly: I don't get paid enough for this shit...

=-D

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, where can I get an autonomous vehicle controlled by Curtana or Siri?

*Pure, Sweet, & Innocent smile*

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